Women's reproductive Autonomy vis-A-Vis Abortion in Zambia?

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Siluka, Prudence
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This research paper looks at reproductive rights from the women's perspective. The research is necessitated by the fact that women's reproductive autonomy is intrinsically valuable for women and for the welfare of humankind. Reproductive autonomy refers to a women's control over her body and her choice to indulge in sex and terminate an unwanted pregnancy. This is central to women's welfare both because childbearing takes place in women's bodies and because they are generally expected to take primary responsibility for child rearing, thus control over their reproduction should be a basic need and right. But unfortunately, such autonomy is a low priority for most societies due to the fact that issues related to reproductive rights are the most vigorously contested rights worldwide. Women's loss of reproductive autonomy is so longstanding and so central to so many cultures and beliefs that recognizing it can be difficult. In Zambia, factors that have affected women's reproductive autonomy most strongly are poverty, and belief systems that devalue such autonomy. In addition, the fact that society and men claim a stake in women's reproductive capacity has resulted in legislative and social regulation of sexuality and reproduction. Therefore, premised on this, this research has examined abortion and the various statutes that have been enacted in Zambia namely, the Penal Code Act, The Termination of Pregnancy Act, the Constitution and the significant role they play in shaping women's choice. This has been compared to the policies at International level and countries like South Africa, Canada and the United States of America have been looked at. The paper has also looked at factors that affect women's reproductive autonomy and also digs deeper into the question of what such a commitment of fully granting women their reproductive autonomy might entail.
Abortion--Law and legislation-Zambia , Abortion Services--law and Legislation-Zambia , Womens rights(abortion)-Zambia